Yoel Romero
Soldier Of God


Injury Ribs
Est. Return 2/17/2020
Potential rib fracture in loss to Costa
August 19, 2019
Romero was suspended 180 days by the California State Athletic Commission following his UFC 241 loss to Paulo Costa due to a possible right rib fracture, Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com reports.
Romero did an excellent job conserving his energy in this fight, as he won the battle of significant strikes 53 to 44 in the third and final round of a matchup that took home Fight of the Night honors. The fact that he potentially did it with broken ribs makes this feat all the more impressive. While Romero ultimately won the battle of significant strikes landed, the constant damage Costa was doing to his body ultimately swayed the judges in the direction of the Brazilian. Romero remains one of the best middleweights on the planet and will return sooner rather than later, but he'll need a physician's clearance if he plans on fighting before February of 2020.
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Drops close decision to Paulo Costa
August 17, 2019
Romero lost to Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC 241 on Saturday in Anaheim.
It was all we expected and then some. Romero appeared shocked by the decision when it was announced by Bruce Buffer, but it was the correct one. Yoel deserves plenty of props despite the setback. He ate about a billion monster shots from Costa and lived to tell about it. Romero, as has been the case his last several fights, employed a counter-punching game plan. He waited for Costa to make the first move and responded. It actually worked out pretty well, but Romero surprisingly elected to keep this fight standing when it appeared he could scored some easy takedowns when Costa was clearly gassed out. Yoel was credited with one successful takedown on four attempts. It clearly wasn't part of his game plan and it might have cost him the bout. At the very least, his willingness to stay on the feed allowed the two combatants to put on a show that earned them each a $50,000 bonus for Fight of the Night honors. It's hard to imagine Romero is 42 years old, but he'll be back in a big way before long. He clearly has the ability to contend with the promotion's elite 185-pounders.
Fight with Costa re-booked
May 8, 2019
Romero (illness) will take on Paulo Costa in a middleweight matchup at UFC 241 on Aug. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
This is a fight that has long been in the making, as the two had originally been projected to face off at UFC 230 last November at Madison Square Garden. Romero was unable to get medical clearance for that fight following his war with Robert Whittaker, so the two rescheduled for Brooklyn in January, then again for Miami last month. Costa once again was removed due to what was later revealed as a USADA violation that resulted in a retroactive suspension, and he was replaced on the card by Jacare Souza. Finally, Romero was removed from the card as well due to illness, and the two combatants were again left without a fight. Should they follow through with their plans in August, this projects as a close match between two of the world's top fighters at 185 pounds. Costa has rolled over UFC competition en route to a four-fight winning streak -- all of which have been earned via a stoppage within two rounds. He's landed more than eight significant strikes per minute, compared to 3.28 for Romero, though the level of competition has been vastly different. One advantage Romero might have is his wrestling. The Olympic silver medalist took champion Robert Whittaker down three times in his last fight, and Costa has been taken down in the UFC in the past. Whether the 42-year-old "Soldier of God" returns to that tactic is a wild-card factor that could turn the tides of the fight.
Withdraws from South Florida card
April 4, 2019
Romero has came down with an illness that forced him to pull out of his April 27 main event fight with Jacare Souza, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Romero, a Cuba native, had been looking forward to fighting in front of a South Florida crowd rich in Cuban heritage, but it will no longer come to pass. Specifics of the illness remain unclear, but it was serious enough for the 41-year-old to withdraw more than three weeks in advance of the fight date. The UFC will now be left looking for a short-notice replacement to fight Souza.
To face Jacare Souza at UFC Miami
March 7, 2019
Romero (orbital) is slated to fight Jacare Souza at UFC Miami on April 27, ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports.
Romero was originally scheduled to fight Paulo Costa on the Miami card, but with "The Soldier of God" dealing with health issues and even taking time off to compete on a reality TV show, there was always quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the situation. Eventually, the UFC decided to pull the plug on that bout and go in a different direction, despite keeping Romero on the card. Romero took a controversial split-decision victory he first met Souza back in December of 2015. Romero won the striking battle 46 to 30 in that matchup, but Souza was able to take him down and pass guard twice. Romero eventually went on to win that bout, and didn't lose again until he met Robert Whittaker with the belt on the line. He's actually lost two of his last three fights, but those slight title-fight shortcomings were his only two defeats under the UFC banner. While both men in this one are at or near their 40s, this is by far the best non-title middleweight fight the UFC can make at this time.
Rescheduled against Paulo Costa
January 22, 2019
Romero (orbital) will take on Paulo Costa (undisclosed) at UFC Miami on April 27, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN reports.
The pair have already had their fight called off twice, first due to Romero's injury in November and then due to Costa's injury in January. They'll hope for better luck this time around. The 41-year-old Romero has lost two of his last three fights, both against Robert Whittaker. His opponent, the 27-year-old Costa, is undefeated in 13 professional fights, including four with the UFC.